After being released over a month ago, I finally get my hands on the much anticipated Halo 4. I’ve only had limited time and exploration with Halo 4 at this point, so everything that I will talk about will be based off my limited experience.
It took a moment for me to get over the news that Bungie was no longer dealing with the Halo franchise and that 343i was taking over. And with the news of Halo 4 in the works, I admit that I was a little worried about the outcome of the game. Usually when a different game developer takes over a game, it’s never the same and it was the same fear I had with Halo 4.
Now, that I have played Halo 4, how does the overall experience that 343i measure up to that we all were used to experience with Bungie’s work of Halo: Combat Evolved and on up to Halo Reach? Well, overall, I have the say that I am impressed with the job that 343i did. 343i definitely went above expectations in my opinion. To be honest, if you didn’t know any better, you would think game developer never changed. The game play for the most part still feels the same and the graphics are on point as expected. The campaign mode was a little shorter than I would have like, but it’s no big deal. I guess Infinity mode’s Spartan Ops make up for the short campaign.
For those wondering, the best way I can describe Spartan Ops is that it’s make Firefight with campaign-like objectives. I thought it was a good idea on 343i’s part to add this new feature to the franchise. It makes for a nice change.
Now, there are some minor differences within the game. For each individual, the differences can be a good thing or a bad thing. The single player experiences within Halo 4 seems much easier than previous Halo games. At first, I thought the ease of the game was due to my overall Halo experience over the last eleven years. Then I got to thinking, that can’t be the case, because even today, I still can’t avoid projectiles as easy as I can in Halo 4. Yes, the shots fired in the game seems a lot easier to dodge, unless you’re getting shot at by swarms of Covenant enemies. Also the Elites seem easier to kill as well. They don’t evade as much as they did in previous games and their shields seem seem to drain quicker and stay down a little longer, allowing for a greater chance of making that kill shot on them. Basically, the enemy seems slower in movement and in shooting. Now, if you like going through Halo games with little trouble, then this is no big deal. Now, if you like a little challenge, then you may be in for a let down. Luckily, there adjustable difficulty settings and skulls to go with it, if you need the challenge.
Then you have the weapons. In past Halos, in was nothing to run around with a full charged plasma pistol and take out about fifty to sixty enemies. In Halo 4, the plasma pistol’s charge diminishes fast. You would be lucky to get twenty kills with a full charge. Most of the Promethean weapons simply remind you of UNSC weapons with larger ammo capacity.
There are a lot of things to unlock in Halo 4 and if you want them, then you have to keep playing. This is actually good, since I give gamers a reason to play Halo 4 for a while, considering there are a lot of cool items and features to unlock.
Overall, 343i didn’t let me down. I now feel confident that 343i will continue to do a great job as they continue to work on the rest of the new Halo trilogy.